Auto Accident Injuries: What You Need to Know

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that every year 46,631.4 people are killed and 3,335,800 people are injured in auto accidents across the U.S. The NHTSA compiled accident data collected over a ten-year period by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES) to assemble the Traffic Safety Facts Report.

FARS gathers data of fatal motor vehicle accidents within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To qualify for the FRAS analysis report an accident must have involved a motor vehicle traveling on a roadway regularly open to the public the accident must have resulted in the death of at least one occupant of a vehicle or a non-occupant within 30 days of the crash.

GES accumulated data from nationally representative probability samples selected from all police-reported motor vehicle accidents. In order for a motor vehicle accident to be eligible for the GES sample, a police accident report (PAR) must have been completed and filed for the accident. The accident must have involved at least one motor vehicle traveling on a roadway and must have resulted in property damage, injury, or death.

If you have been involved in an auto accident and may need legal assistance, consult with an Auto Accident Attorney in your area for a free case review to explore your legal options.

Pedestrian, Road Departure, and Intersection Fatalities

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a one-year study of 42,643 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. The focused on fatalities that resulted from motor vehicles accidents that involved road departure of a vehicle, occurred in an intersection, or resulted in the death of pedestrian.

The study found that:

  • Road departure accidents accounted for 25,321 fatalities or 59%
  • Intersection accidents accounted for 9,213 fatalities or 21%
  • Pedestrian accidents accounted for 4,749 fatalities or 11%

That equals:

  • One road departure fatality every 21 minutes
  • One intersection fatality every hour
  • One pedestrian fatality almost every two hours
  • 117 fatalities every day
  • 30% of all daily fatalities
  • 35% of all daily fatalities under the age of 25
  • $630 million in financial loss every day

Motor Vehicle Accidents by Speed, Influence of Alcohol, and Type of Roadway

The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) conducted a one-year study for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of 5,973,000 motor vehicle crashes. The Motor Vehicle Safety Data study considered motor vehicle accidents by speed of the vehicle, influence of alcohol on the driver, and type of roadway in its report.

The Motor Vehicle Safety Data study concluded that in that one-year period there were:

  • 2,575,000 Persons Injured
  • 42,642 Fatalities
  • 23,099 Fatalities Occurred on Rural Roadways
  • 18,309 Fatalities Occurred on Urban Roadways
  • 17,602 Alcohol-Related Fatalities or 41.3%
  • 2,481 Alcohol-Related Fatalities or 5.8% (BAC between 0.01 - 0.07)
  • 15,121 Alcohol-Related Fatalities or 35.5% (BAC of 0.08 or higher)
  • 18,058 Fatalities Occurred Under 55 mph
  • 19,198 Fatalities Occurred at 55 mph or above
If you have been involved in an auto accident and may need legal assistance, consult with an Auto Accident Attorney in your area for a free case review to explore your legal options.

What You Should Do After an Auto Accident

Car accidents happen; they are a fact of driving. The most important thing to remember after a car accident is to remain calm. You will need to assess the situation and remember to accomplish certain key tasks so you will need to make sure that you have a clear head before you start and that you have your emotions under control.

Remain At the Scene of the Accident

You should remain at the scene of the accident even if the accident is not your fault. Charges for leaving the scene of an accident are much more severe and you could even face criminal charges if someone is hurt or if a death results from the collision. If you are involved in an accident in an unsafe neighborhood, on a desolate road, or if you fear for your safety remain in your car and call the police. If you do not have a cell phone, take down as much information about the incident quickly and drive to a nearby police station to report the accident. If you cannot find a police station, a fire station will be able to help you contact the proper authorities.

Check Yourself for Injuries

You cannot always be sure that you have not suffered any injuries but you can take a quick inspection of your body and make a relative assessment of your physical situation. Injuries are not always obvious after an accident. The distraction and shock from the sudden event can mask hidden injuries or internal pain. If you are hurt, call for emergency medical attention immediately.

Find Out If Any of the Other People Involved Sustained Any Injuries

Verify with the other people involved in the accident to make sure that no one is critically injured and needs medical attention. If anyone is hurt, immediately call for emergency medical attention. If a pedestrian is hit you should call for emergency medical attention rite away. If a person is unconscious or complaining of back or neck pain, do not move them wait until the emergency response personnel arrives. If the situation requires emergency movement of an injured person, try to move them as gradually as possible supporting their head and neck at all times and only as far as necessary to be away from the presumptive danger.

Call the Police

It is always a good idea to call the police in any car accident situation. The officer will take notes and interview all the people directly involved in the incident. That will provide a record of the accident and statements of the drivers and sometimes statements by witnesses. A police accident report is crucial if the accident resulted in death, critical injury, or significant property damage.

File a Car Accident Police Report

Request a police report of the auto accident. The report will contain vital information in the event you have to go to court or present evidence of the accident to your insurance company. Make sure to take note of the reporting police officer’s name and badge number as well as any other police officers that respond to the accident scene. Only discuss the accident with the police officer. Do not get into heated discussions with other drivers. The reporting officer should be able to give you some sort of identification or reference number for the accident report or contact number to retrieve it.

If you have been involved in an auto accident and may need legal assistance, consult with an Auto Accident Attorney in your area for a free case review to explore your legal options.

Exchange Driver Information

You should obtain the driver information from all the drivers involved in the accident. Do not discuss the accident with any of the other drivers simply ask for their basic personal driver information, which includes: the name, phone numbers, address, license plate number, drivers' license number, and insurance information. Always be calm, polite, and accommodating when talking to the other drivers.

Collect Witness Information

Try to collect as much information as possible from any witnesses to the accident. This includes passengers in the other cars. You should obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone who observed the accident and a brief description of what they saw. Include the witness’ physical description of the cars involved. Try to talk to as many eyewitnesses as possible. Do not antagonize or intimidate a witness, some people do not want to get involved so keep that in mind when asking for information from any bystander.

Take Notes at the Scene

Before any of the cars leave the scene, take notes of the arrangements of the cars and debris. Describe the damage done to your car and all the cars involved. Try to illustrate where the impact zones are on each car and take notes of the events as you remember them while you are at the scene. Memory can fade and/or play tricks on your mind so the more information you jot down at the scene the more details you will be able to remember later.

Post Accident Steps

After all the required legal formalities are completed at the scene of the accident, there are certain steps you should follow to protect yourself from any misunderstandings, mistakes, or even fraud.

You should:

  • Notify your insurance company – let them know immediately and describe the accident in full detail, if possible from the accident scene. They may wish to speak to an officer at the scene.
  • Take Pictures – take pictures of any bruises or injuries you may have suffered in the accident. You should also take pictures of any property damage to your vehicle from different angles.
  • Record any medical treatment – keep detailed records of any medical attention you receive after the accident and all medical bills for doctor’s visits, medications, physical or rehabilitative therapy, chiropractic treatments, and any other medical treatment.
  • Get estimates of property damage – get an evaluation of the damage to your vehicle from your insurance and at least three repair estimates from body shops. It is a good idea to include at least one estimate from a dealership including a quote for complete replacement of your vehicle.
If you've been injured in an auto accident. You should speak to a qualified and experienced Auto Accident Attorney.
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